Jay-Z Moonlight Review
History has a way of repeating itself. This could really happen in the future. Taking some trashy washed up white sitcom and handing it down to black people, making the actors believe that we are making a difference in the black community, but it’s really just busy work. Creating many distractions to take time away from people working on things that matter. African-American representation is important in media and film, but I think the message that Jay-Z conveyed through his video Moonlight was very interesting.
It seems like every day, I come across a tweet or a post, where there is a remake of a classic movie or show. The biggest problem with film today is white privilege. There was the Nina casting (for the Nina Simone documentary) and now there is the Black Iron Woman casting rumors, considering light-skinned females. Just because they are light-skinned does not make them less black. However, if a character was portrayed in a darker skin tone, then the casting should stay true to that. No matter what we do now, we cannot change history nor be ignorant to the effects that our nation’s history has on us today because of its history. When I say us, I mean every one of every color.
I am a fan of Friends and some episodes did make me laugh aloud at times. I found this to be so funny when I first recognized the episode. I know exactly how this plays out in the end with the original cast. It was humorous that they used Whodini’s Friends as the theme song, to make the show even more black (if you know what I mean). But the longer I was watching it, it didn’t make me laugh. Maybe it was because I recognized some of the actors and actresses that were reenacting this episode. I knew that they deserved better roles and belong on a better show than this; a show that has already been done with the same lines and same plot. Whether I recognized the actors at all, it was weird to watch. I know it is not that the point of the video, but it was just weird seeing these actors saying the exact same lines. They deserved something more original and new, as does every hard working and talented actor.
I couldn’t really process how I felt when I saw Issa Rae playing Rachel. If you watch the show, then you know that Rachel is the kind of character that has always been about men and relationships. Her life pretty much revolves around that. Issa Rae would not give a fuck if her a dress would make her calves look fat (yes, it is ridiculous as it sounds). Issa Rae is a gorgeous, intelligent bomb black woman. I am not saying that there aren’t black females that do not have this persona in real life, because some of them do. Issa Rae is acting, yes; however, it is the fact that there is no sense of Issa Rae putting her own spin on the character. She is literally portraying the character the same way as Jennifer Aniston did. No new levels or dimensions. It’s crazy because I was watching season 2 of Insecure right before I came across the music video that someone tweeted.
When I first read the title Moonlight, I instantly thought of the film. I love the feeling when your intuition was right all along. The film inspired the video, but not in the way that I thought it would be. Instead of being inspired by the film itself, Jay-z video took the time to highlight the televised moment of when La La Land was announced for best film of the year at the Oscars. It honestly made perfect sense. It’s just perfect. A movie notorious for its black cast, highlighting a (still) taboo and real subject, does not get it’s time to shine on prime television. When La La Land was announced for best film of the year on the Oscars it was a “mistake”. Yet again, black people are not getting the respect, time, and opportunity that they deserve. That moment on television said it all and this video just said a little more. I do not believe that everything on the Oscars and Grammy’s is a conspiracy against African-Americans in the entertainment industry. However, a job as simple as having the right card to announce for the award, it an easily avoidable mistake. It is something that can raise ones’ brow in suspicion.
This was not my favorite track off of Jay-Z’s 4:44, but I feel like this was the best video I’ve seen my him. There is minimal lyrics in the video, only allowing the viewer to watch and process what is happening. It’s something very refreshing from Jay-z and I appreciate that he is using his platform to share messages that he cares about through visuals.